“The Leonardo of Leather”

24 Jul

He made Errol’s Robin Hood leather boots, and lent his horse Don to Errol for “Boots”. He was Bob Brown. Norman Rockwell declared him “The Leonardo of Leather”.

“Bob Brown’s first job was to create the tunic, belt, shoes and cap for Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Other famous owners of Bob’s work are John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Lash Larue, Sunset Carson, Hopalong Cassidy, Tex Williams and many many more. There is a story saying that Bob Brown was the one who taught John Wayne his famous walk.”……

— Tim


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  1. Tony

    July 25, 2017 at 12:29 am

    That’s very interesting Tim. I have a question for you: would you happen to know why Errol as Robin Hood has green sequins on his tunic?

    • Gentleman Tim

      July 25, 2017 at 1:24 am

      I’m not sure they are sequins, Tony. Maybe just metal rivets? In either case, being that shiny, they would certainly not enhance Robin’s ability to camouflage himself in the trees of Sherwood. I believe the reason he wears them so shiny (and Olivia dresses so magnificently, and King Richard is portrayed so as so wonderfully benevolent, etc.) is that the movie is meant to be more a spectacular Victorian fairy tale rather than a truer-to-life Dark and Dank Ages account of the “real” Robin Hood.

      Maybe the sequins or rivets helped distinguish Flynn from his Merry Men, and perhaps all the costumes was all more faithful to the Howard Pyle-type Robin Hood storybook illustrations that preceded 1938, contrasted to how woodsmen actually dressed in English Days of Olde? (And all the better for Technicolor, too!)


      • Tony

        July 25, 2017 at 1:51 am

        All very logical reasons you came up with for the sequins/rivets, Tim. You may be right on all for them, fairy tale look, to help distinguish Flynn from his Merry Men, and to be more faithful to the Howard Pyle Robin Hood storybook illustrations.

        When you mentioned helping to distinguish him from the other Merry Men I remembered the big “L” on Lavern form the Lavern & Shirley TV show. An example of not distinguishing the title character would be the movie Robin And The Seven Hoods (1964). Thinking of that movie, it takes some thought for me to remember that Robbo was Frank Sinatra.

        Also, when I looked at the Howard Pyle Robin Hood storybook illustrations I could see that you were dead right and the entire movie seems to be styled after the Howard Pyle work.

        Thanks for the insight.

        • Gentleman Tim

          July 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

          Looks to me like Louis Rhead may have had an influence on Warners Brothers as well, as perhaps did other artists in this superb collection of Robin Hood images from the University of Rochester:


          • Sergio

            July 25, 2017 at 11:12 am

            I as Tony believe your right on this Merry-Man-Tim, on top of we have to also remember that he was a Sir (Robin of Locksley) so as you say the separation from he and his men, yet giving him a little bling of cheap royalty…

  2. Gentleman Tim

    July 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    And following Howard Pyle was his illustrious pupil, the great illustrator, N.C. Wyeth, father of renowned American painter Andrew Wyeth. His influence was likely very significant, too.

    Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth – Illustrations from Robin Hood 1917


    • Gentleman Tim

      July 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Comment by Tony regarding N.C. Wyeth illustration above:

      “The illustration you posted almost looks like a still from the movie itself.”